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paulkebab's picture
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Which closed back cans shortlist?

Next month I shall be buying my final pair of headphones, which will be closed back. I've heard none above the £300 mark and would like a bit of help with a short-list.

My source is CD or digital media into an Arcam iRDAC and Yamaha AS500 amp; material varies from classical, fusion and hard rock, but on balance it's mainly prog rock I listen to. Sound balance should be what I describe as 'normal' but with the midrange toned down a bit, some may say bass heavy and treble high but to me it's the same thing.

I've got my eyes on the Audeze LCD-XC, but the latest EL-8 are pretty much half the price. I have already arranged to audition the Audeze but there must be a few others that qualify as 'must-listen-to' at this price point. The ones that crop up are Beyer, HiFiMan, AKG and Grado.

Any advice and recommendations gladly received, thanks.

Vincent SV237 hybrid with KHV-1 headphone amp,Behringer DEQ, Audiolab MDAC, WDTV, custom cables, IPL S2tlm, Tacima power, Oppo PM1 and AKG550 cans, Shure 215 and 425 in ears.

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paulkebab wrote:closed back. 

paulkebab wrote:
closed back

 Grado.

I may not be fully up to date with their product line-up, but I didn't think Grado made any closed back models.

Personally I'd try to listen to as many as possible to see which sound you like. I'd also include Audio Technica at that pricepoint. I was going to suggest the Fostex TH600, but I think it is probably moer than you are looking to pay.

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For a very neutral, balanced

For a very neutral, balanced sound I would recommend Shure SRH940 or Beyer DT770 Pro

If you're after the V-shape sound, I'd look at Sennheiser Momentum or maybe V-Moda Crossfade M100 (although I haven't heard those)

 

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fr0g wrote:

fr0g wrote:

For a very neutral, balanced sound I would recommend Shure SRH940 or Beyer DT770 Pro

If you're after the V-shape sound, I'd look at Sennheiser Momentum or maybe V-Moda Crossfade M100 (although I haven't heard those)

Someone from headfi replied to my Shure 940 review saying "the 940 is very, very, very, very bright" - an exact quote.  But it's no brighter than the Sennheiser HD800.  The DT770-32 has a cavernous sound, with just a small treble peak.

Senal SMH1200, V-MODA Wireless2, Beats Studio3, Apple Airpods, DragonFly Red/Oppo HA2 DAC/amps, Lehmann Traveler amp.

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The HD800's

are also open back. I wasn't sure if Grado did a closed back so that's one out of the equation. I'm prepared to go for the LCD XC's currently £1500 save a quid, but they will have to sound supreme, going from the test reports I've read they are!

Vincent SV237 hybrid with KHV-1 headphone amp,Behringer DEQ, Audiolab MDAC, WDTV, custom cables, IPL S2tlm, Tacima power, Oppo PM1 and AKG550 cans, Shure 215 and 425 in ears.

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I just ordered the Grado

I just ordered the Grado PS1000e - it's open, but I just couldn't spend that kind of money on a closed headphone.

Senal SMH1200, V-MODA Wireless2, Beats Studio3, Apple Airpods, DragonFly Red/Oppo HA2 DAC/amps, Lehmann Traveler amp.

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I with dalethorn - if I was

I with dalethorn - if I was spending that much, I'd be looking at an open design. My current favourite is the Oppo PM1.

Frank Harvey Hi-Fi Excellence

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I don't think you can go

I don't think you can go wrong with the Beyer DT880 or 990 Premium Edition if you prefer open. There is very very little difference between the two of them, I've demoed side by side on my hifi. I personally prefer the sound of these to the T70 which is more expensive and given that the price of Beyers has recently been reduced they are a no-brainer to me. Listening to Fleetwood's Dreams or Rhiannon is just beautiful. 

 

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www.musictoyourears.co.uk

System: Unison Research Unico CDE with upgraded DAC, Leema Tucana 2, Kudos Cardea C2, AIAIAI TMA-1 Studio Young Guru, Beyerdynamic MMX102iE.

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For an extra £100..

I could go for the Audeze LCD-3 which are open back. I'll have to audition those, too, as if they're not too open I might be tempted. I've heard of the Oppo headphones which use the same planar construction so they're duly noted.

Vincent SV237 hybrid with KHV-1 headphone amp,Behringer DEQ, Audiolab MDAC, WDTV, custom cables, IPL S2tlm, Tacima power, Oppo PM1 and AKG550 cans, Shure 215 and 425 in ears.

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David@FrankHarvey wrote:

David@FrankHarvey wrote:

I with dalethorn - if I was spending that much, I'd be looking at an open design. My current favourite is the Oppo PM1.

If I had enough cash, I'd get the PM1 along with that amp they sell.

Senal SMH1200, V-MODA Wireless2, Beats Studio3, Apple Airpods, DragonFly Red/Oppo HA2 DAC/amps, Lehmann Traveler amp.

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dalethorn wrote:If I had

dalethorn wrote:
If I had enough cash, I'd get the PM1 along with that amp they sell.

I wish I could afford them! Looking at the Audioquest Nighthawks, as I've been hearing good things about them from reliable sources.

I do like the B&W P7 though. Unusual for me as I'm not keen on closed back.

Frank Harvey Hi-Fi Excellence

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Try and audition the Fostex

Try and audition the Fostex TH600 or 900 if you are after closed ones. 

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Looking at the Oppo PM1's..

they don't physically look too 'open' and reading up they seem excellent and look the part so they're on the list.

Just to clarify things, I'm not worried about sound leaking out, I just don't want anything coming in. Open back would be great but 'Awaken' by Yes from Going for The One will always be spoiled by someone ( ie the other half ) !

The Fostex TH900 get good reports too, with a slighty laid-back midrange which is exactly what I'm after so thanks for the suggestion Helmut80. They also look gorgeous!

 

Vincent SV237 hybrid with KHV-1 headphone amp,Behringer DEQ, Audiolab MDAC, WDTV, custom cables, IPL S2tlm, Tacima power, Oppo PM1 and AKG550 cans, Shure 215 and 425 in ears.

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Agreed.

JoelSim wrote:

I don't think you can go wrong with the Beyer DT880 or 990 Premium Edition if you prefer open. There is very very little difference between the two of them, I've demoed side by side on my hifi. I personally prefer the sound of these to the T70 which is more expensive and given that the price of Beyers has recently been reduced they are a no-brainer to me. Listening to Fleetwood's Dreams or Rhiannon is just beautiful. 

....and DT 770 Pro closed back if amped decently.

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hybridauth_Facebook

hybridauth_Facebook_100000759563588 wrote:

JoelSim wrote:

I don't think you can go wrong with the Beyer DT880 or 990 Premium Edition if you prefer open. There is very very little difference between the two of them, I've demoed side by side on my hifi. I personally prefer the sound of these to the T70 which is more expensive and given that the price of Beyers has recently been reduced they are a no-brainer to me. Listening to Fleetwood's Dreams or Rhiannon is just beautiful. 

....and DT 770 Pro closed back if amped decently.

Agreed. Beyer don't let bad headphones out to the public. It's all about sound and nothing else as they are hardly the most stylish. 

Director

www.musictoyourears.co.uk

System: Unison Research Unico CDE with upgraded DAC, Leema Tucana 2, Kudos Cardea C2, AIAIAI TMA-1 Studio Young Guru, Beyerdynamic MMX102iE.

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And the winners were....

the Oppo PM1's with the Fostex TH900's an extremely close second place. Extremely disappointed with the Audeze LCD-3 and LCD-XC, just not my kind of sound. The Oppo's will be delivered on Tuesday and I can't wait, thanks to everyone for their pointers and recommends.

Vincent SV237 hybrid with KHV-1 headphone amp,Behringer DEQ, Audiolab MDAC, WDTV, custom cables, IPL S2tlm, Tacima power, Oppo PM1 and AKG550 cans, Shure 215 and 425 in ears.

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